Young Ottawa Valley girl set to perform at the Grand Ole Opry next month

Seen in photo above: Michaela Cote singing 'Cowboy Take Me Away' by the Dixie Chicks, at this year's Canada Day celebrations in South Mountain. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

STITTSVILLE — Fourteen-year-old Michaela Cote is well on her way to stardom, as she will be performing on the biggest stage in country music next month.

This is big news for Cote who was one of the acts featured at this year’s Canada Day celebrations in South Mountain.

The audience was blown away by the big voice that came out of such a young woman.

The Grand Ole Opry is a ‘holy’ place in the country music world, hosting legends such as Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn and more recent artists like Brad Paisley and Cote’s idol — Carrie Underwood.

Cote’s biggest show to date was Bluesfest where she performed on the Sunday of the Ottawa-based festival. She was “very excited” to play in front of such a large crowd, she said.

She generally plays covers of her favourites, which, of course, includes Underwood, the former American Idol.

She is, however, currently working on an original piece with group members of the Ottawa-based music school where she takes lessons. Sarah McClurg Music is run by McClurg herself, a recipient of the Country Music Artist of the year at the 2011 Los Angeles Indie Music Awards.

Her students learn how to sing, write, play the guitar and how to harmonize. “She has helped me through everything!” expressed Cote.

It was McClurg who organized the trip to Nashville and will accompany Cote and 20 others to the country music capital. There, they will be split up into smaller groups. Each group must come up with a song of their own, including lyrics and instrumentals. Then they will each take turns performing their group-established song. However, each artist will have the opportunity to make it their own. Each will each work with a producer to stylize the number to their sound and genre.

On August 25, Cote will perform her co-written song on the legendary stage in Nashville and she couldn’t be more excited!

“Just knowing legends like Johnny Cash played there is amazing. It’s an honour to sing on the same stage as he did.” Cote exclaimed.

The young songstress currently attends Paul Desmarais French Catholic School. Her first language is French, like her father Marc, but thanks to her mom, Darlene, and living in an all-English community, she is completely bilingual.

She acknowledged her parents for driving her to every lesson and performance and for their continuing support — on the way to what appears to be an exciting and successful future.

The South Mountain Canada Day footage below includes a sample of the young singer’s performance.


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